Not a day passes when you don’t read someone’s thoughts on work/life balance. Increasingly, many people are coming to the conclusion that true work/life balance may not be realistic or even ideal. Having thought about it quite a bit, I am starting to fall into this camp. So, in today’s post, I’d like to suggest 5 simple steps to take towards work/life effectiveness.
1. Lean to Your Strengths ~ I listened to this great audio book, Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham. One of the points he makes in the book is this idea of leaning towards your strengths. I love this idea of being more aware of what is not your strong suit and find ways to take those tasks/chores off your plate to leave room and space for those things you are good at. For example, if there are certain chores you do but despise, maybe you could negotiate with your spouse to take them over and you take on other chores. Or, maybe you hire a housecleaner to free you both up to do other things you prefer and enjoy.
2. Don’t Neglect Your Physical Self ~ In our busy lives, with increased demands it is very hard to fit in an exercise routine. However, exercise can be squeezed into your life in a variety of ways and its benefits are numerous. Are you a Comcast subscriber (this is not an endorsement of Comcast, it just seems many folks subscribe to it)? View an exercise video on demand. Comcast offers loads of them–free with your service–of varying lengths, levels and types. What about 10 minutes of Cardio while you await dinner to cook or before breakfast? If you did that 5 days a week, it would be something. Or alternatively, if your schedule permits, consider joining a sports league which makes exercise more social and fun. Or train for a charity event where you get in shape, help a worthy cause and meet new people (think Team in Training or AIDS Lifecycle).
3. Stick to Your Priorities ~ If you are true to yourself and make space for what’s most important, chances are you will be happier. For example, if family is important but you are required to work late often, see if you can create an alternative schedule so you can be home for dinner a couple of times per week at least and stick to it. It’s amazing how productive you can be at work when you know you have to leave at a certain time.
4. Cultivate Joy ~ Find ways to spend your time out of work that multiplies your happiness. For example, pick up an old hobby. It’s amazing how the benefits of doing something you love will trickle into other parts of your life. Doing things that make you joyful will energize you for the other realms of your life leading to greater effectiveness.
5. Embrace Spontaneity ~ I will admit, I am a planner. I like to create a schedule and stick to it. However, I’ve noticed when my husband suggests an impromptu trip to the local ice cream shop, we always enjoy it even more. There’s something more exciting about engaging in a fun unexpected outing.
I hope these ideas offer you some food for thought in your quest towards Work/Life Effectiveness.
p.s. For more background on the Work/Life Balance debate, I encourage you to read this informative blog post, WorkLife Balance Isn’t The Point by Christine Riordan.
This post originally appeared on Butterfly Careers.
Butterfly Careers is a boutique career coaching consulting practice that helps individuals find meaningful work. It offers resume writing, cover letters, LinkedIn Profile building and editing, career coaching, job interview preparation, career transition guidance and job search assistance. Visit www.butterfly-careers.com to learn more.